Tea imports down 10.85% at 9.2 mn kg in Jan-June

Tea imports to India fell by 10.85 per cent to 9.2 million kg in the first six months of the current year.

The country imported 10.32 million kg of tea in the April-June period last year, the Tea Board said in a statement.

Though the maximum quantum of tea came from neighbouring Nepal, its exports, however, were down when compared with the corresponding period last year. Nepal exported 2.35 million kg of tea during April-June, 2010, as against 3.04 million kg in the same period last year.

On the other hand, Vietnamese tea imports improved to 1.96 million kg in the first six months of this year from 1.92 million kg in the year-ago period.

Iran also increased its shipments to India by 1 million kg during the January-June period to 1.18 million kg, compared to the same period last year.

India, the world's largest consumer of tea, mainly imports tea from 18 countries around the world, including Papua New Guinea.

The imported tea, however, is hardly used for domestic consumption and is mainly re-exported to Iraq. A fall in the number of contracts with that country have impacted the shipments, an industry official said.

Tea production in India, the second biggest producer of tea in the world, was 979 million kg last year.

India accounts for about 28 per cent of world tea production and 14 per cent of trade. There are about 1,600 tea estates in India. The industry employs more than two million people.

Source: PTI